Rep. Ed Perlmutter reversed course Monday, announcing his decision to run for re-election, shaking up the Democratic primary for his House seat and prompting two candidates to end their campaigns.
The Colorado Democrat had previously said he would not run for re-election after ending his gubernatorial campaign. But Perlmutter changed his mind, saying in a statement that he had decided to run for a 7th term.
“Over the last few weeks a lot has happened, both for me and in the world. I’ve taken some time to regroup and recharge, and in so doing I’ve had many meaningful conversations with friends, neighbors, supporters and family who have encouraged me to run again,” Perlmutter said in his statement, first reported by the Denver Post.
Perlmutter had originally vacated his seat to run for governor. But in July he dropped out of the race, and also said he would not run for re-election to the House.
His decision raises questions for the four Democrats in the race.
State Rep. Brittany Pettersen announced Monday evening that she was ending her campaign and backing Perlmutter.
"While I'm disappointed I will not have the opportunity to serve our community in Congress, I know that the people of the 7th district will continue to be well represented by Ed Perlmutter," Pettersen said in a statement.
State Sen. Dominick Moreno suspended his campaign for the Democratic nomination after the news of Perlmutter's decision. Moreno said in a statement that he phoned Perlmutter and offered his endorsement and full support.
“We continue to be in great hands with Congressman Perlmutter,” Moreno said.
Perlmutter told the Denver Post he had spoken with the other candidates.
“They are all wonderful people and I know for them and some others my decision is not convenient or well timed, for which I’m sorry,” Perlmutter said.
The primary also includes state Sen. Andy Kerr and Dan Baer, a former ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe during President Barack Obama’s administration.
Kerr said in a statement that Perlmutter is "a friend, a mentor and a great public servant for the people of CD7 - including my own family."
It is not clear if Kerr will remain in the race. Kerr said he respected Perlmutter's decision and he is "discussing with my family, friends and supporters before making a final decision in the next day or two."
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race for Perlmutter’s seat as Solid Democratic. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won the district, with includes suburbs of Denver, by 12 points last November, according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections.